Curriculum Development

Community Learning providers are having to rethink and reshape their community learning curriculum offer to respond to localism, local strategies and the reform of public services, as well as the fallout from austerity. A community learning curriculum for the current times needs to be inclusive, wide ranging, highly flexible, and very responsive to the social and economic needs of diverse groups. This means reaching new people, building resilience and equipping people to find solutions to individual and community challenges.

The curriculum offer should be founded on research that offers a robust analysis of the local strategic context as well as the full spectrum of community learning needs. Working with partners is often the most effective way of adding social value and developing the most creative and effective learning opportunities.

Involving learners and other partners in co-designing the curriculum will ensure that it is relevant. This requires creative approaches to support them to articulate their knowledge of what they need in terms of curriculum design. Creative approaches that extend the range of methods used for recruitment, modes of delivery and teaching and learning will be required to attract new and different learners and deliver the new curriculum.

The community learning curriculum might include some or all of the following types of learning that:

  • Enriches life by enabling people to fulfill their ambitions, pursue their passions and interests, address health and well being needs, and build resilience and confidence.
  • Builds skills and knowledge for local leadership.
  • Builds capacity to shape or manage services, local spaces and amenities to make sure they meet community requirements.
  • Enables democratic and civic participation, activism and volunteering, engages communities in dialogue about local issues and supports them to begin addressing them.
  • Supports pathways to employment.
  • Supports the development of life skills including English, maths, and financial and digital capabilities.
  • Enables parents to support their children and raises the aspirations and education achievement of all family members.
Colleges in their Community
26th January 2017

Colleges in their Community

These two reports, produced as part of the Colleges in their Community Inquiry, are of interest in realtion to curricula development and approaches to local area planing of adult learning.

A Curriculum for Difficult Times
26th January 2017

A Curriculum for Difficult Times

This report shows how providers, working in different local contexts, have developed a new curriculum. The work of these projects was based on the assumption that in difficult times the learning and skills curriculum will have...Read more »

CLIF Projects Curriculum Development Approaches
26th January 2017

CLIF Projects Curriculum Development Approaches

The Community Learning Innovation Fund (CLIF) projects that ran from September 2012 to July 2013 offered interesting and creative learning programmes to attract different learners from disadvantaged backgrounds. The CLIF projects contain valuable lessons for community...Read more »

Training parents of children with special needs to support other parents of children with special needs
26th January 2017

Training parents of children with special needs to support other parents of children with special needs

This case study describes a project funded by West Berkshire Council’s Community Education Fund which aims to support local organisations to deliver community learning to targeted groups.

Family Learning
26th January 2017

Family Learning

Family Learning Inquiry

Family Learning Impact Fund
26th January 2017

Family Learning Impact Fund

This document contains examples of interesting practice case studies collected from projects using the Family Learning Impact Fund.

A Dynamic Nucleus
26th January 2017

A Dynamic Nucleus

This report of the Independent Commission on Colleges in their Communities addresses the strategic role colleges can play in their communities.  The content which includes leadership, governance, local planning, partnership working and community curriculum is relevant for...Read more »

Hull Training and Adult Education- Greenway Dads’ Group case study
26th January 2017

Hull Training and Adult Education- Greenway Dads’ Group case study

This case study describes a Dads’ club developed  to attract male family members and support them to succeed in family learning.  This case study outlines some of strategies that helped make this a successful men’s learning...Read more »

Community Learning Innovation Fund (CLIF) – A report by NIACE for the Skills Funding Agency
26th January 2017

Community Learning Innovation Fund (CLIF) – A report by NIACE for the Skills Funding Agency

Leadership and GovernanceThis research report sets out the key achievements of the Community Learning Innovation Fund, which NIACE managed on behalf of the Skills Funding Agency in 2012-2013. The curricula, teaching and learning approaches, achievements and...Read more »

Use of webinars to upskill volunteers in a rural area
26th January 2017

Use of webinars to upskill volunteers in a rural area

This case study describes a webinar programme developed and supported by West Berkshire Council’s Community Learning Service working in partnership with the Community Council for Berkshire (CCB).  The webinars are part of a range of initiatives...Read more »

Tools for creating your own interactive course content
26th January 2017

Tools for creating your own interactive course content

Creating interactive content is a great way to engage learners.  There are many ways to do this using all kinds of software and online tools. To get a professional result, it sometimes pays to use an...Read more »

Luton Adult Learning: Your Say, Your Way Case Study
26th January 2017

Luton Adult Learning: Your Say, Your Way Case Study

This case study describes an adult learning programme offered by Luton Adult Learning that supported residents to take an active and informed part in a council community led planning and budget allocation initiative.  

Asset Transfer Programme – Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council (Sustainable Neighbourhood Services)
26th January 2017

Asset Transfer Programme – Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council (Sustainable Neighbourhood Services)

This case study describes the contribution that adult learning has made to developing the skills of local residents to support them to take over community assets in their area as an alternative to closure in the...Read more »